Using baking soda for my Alk

Discussion in 'Reef Chemistry by Randy Holmes-Farley' started by BOWHUNTER4250, Mar 8, 2018.

  1. BOWHUNTER4250

    BOWHUNTER4250 Active Member

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    I have been using baking soda for my Alk for a while now and have used it many times in the past i have followed Randy's formula and bake 1 box ( 16 oz ) and dissolve this in 1 gallon of R/O . Now i don't let my container get too low before i make another batch , after adding new solution the next day i get a large ALK swing ??

    i use the same amount of baking soda , same measuring container , same temp R/O water , mix it the same and let it sit the same before adding to container for dosing .. now i try and use a Hanna Alk checker on the solution i have been dosing and the new solution to get them to match potency but i believe the Hanna checker tops out at 20 ? is there something im missing to why the big swing in Alk if im doing everything the same every time im mixing ?

    something else easier i can use for Alk that wont break the bank ? i dose approx. 800ML in 24hr to keep Alk around 8.2 ( 34ml hr )
     
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  2. Mike Reef Addict

    Mike Reef Addict Active Member

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    Is it dessolving all the way? Warming the water to help it dissolve?
     
  3. chipmunkofdoom2

    chipmunkofdoom2 Always Making Something R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor

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    You're using 800ml per day? So you have to make a new gallon of solution every 4 days or so?
     
  4. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Expert Contributor

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    There's no way the solution can lose potency unless the solid is precipitating from it.

    The alk solution has an alk of about 5,300 dKH, so you'll need a lot of dilution to measure it.

    There's nothing cheaper or easier for alk unless you can find sodium carbonate or sodium hydroxide cheaper.
     
  5. BOWHUNTER4250

    BOWHUNTER4250 Active Member

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    yes , water is clear and everything is dissolved , i let it sit a few hours before adding
     
  6. BOWHUNTER4250

    BOWHUNTER4250 Active Member

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    yes i make about 4 gallons at a time
     
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  7. BOWHUNTER4250

    BOWHUNTER4250 Active Member

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    i was hoping you would chime in Randy ! thank you ...... so what could be happening or what can i do to make sure each batch i make is approx. the same to stop the bid swing ?
     
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  8. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Expert Contributor

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    Can you describe the "alk swing" that you are seeing?
     
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  9. BOWHUNTER4250

    BOWHUNTER4250 Active Member

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    i try to keep my Alk at or about 8.0-8.2 i check this around the same time every day ( give or take an hour)
    after adding more mixed and made solution to my holding container the next day around the same time my Alk will jump anywhere up to 10.8 and higher , so i add fresh R/O water to dilute it down a bit and re check the next day , then if needed i adjust the amount im dosing daily to bring it back to 8.2 ?

    2 days ago i made a new batch , the only difference was the brand of baking soda , same size box and process was the same ..... checked my alk last night and i was at 13.4 in the display ?
     
  10. Greenstreet.1

    Greenstreet.1 Valuable Member

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    I think what everyone is missing is that when you said that you add you new mix of alk to the alk that is left in your dosing container. I think what is happening is that when you add the new mix to the old your are making it stronger therefore your alk is jumping that’s why when you dilute the mix in the container it goes back down.
    I would say stop adding the new mix to the mix that’s already in the dosing container.
     
  11. BOWHUNTER4250

    BOWHUNTER4250 Active Member

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    and use a new container every time i make a new batch ? throw out whats left of the old ? that would be kind of a waste ? and mixing the 2 together how would that make the original stronger ?
     
  12. dimo

    dimo Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Are you adding the rodi to the dosing container to dilute it? Or to the tank directly.

    If you're adding it to the dosing container, you're weakening the solution. And then strengthening it when you top it off.

    I would think instead of weakening the solution with rodi, it would be best to simply dose less so your alk doesn't climb.
     
  13. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Expert Contributor

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    I assumed he was adding the appropriate amount of both water and baking soda to the container each time. If that is not true, yes, the alk will change in the mix.
     
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  14. BOWHUNTER4250

    BOWHUNTER4250 Active Member

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    correct , i add the same amount every time , 1 box of baking soda and 1 gallon of rodi water , mixed in a 5 gallon bucket then sit for a few hours then add to my dosing container
     
  15. BOWHUNTER4250

    BOWHUNTER4250 Active Member

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    correct , however i never know what the strength of the dosing container is if my checker tops out at 20 ? so im guessing every time i add more solution as to how much to adjust my dosing .... i dont want to have to do this every time i add another batch ......... i don't mind checking my mixes but either im doing something wrong , or something is happening that im not aware of ?
     
  16. dimo

    dimo Member Build Thread Contributor

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    It’s best never to dilute your dosing container. That solution should always stay the same strenth as the fresh solution your making. Don’t bother trying to check the alkalinity of it either.

    If your dKH rises to much, stop the dosing and wait until it drops to your preferred level naturally. Then start the dosing back up but with a lower amount daily. 800ml daily sounds excessive for a normal strength 2 part alk solution unless your tank is huge. After some trial and error though you should be able to dial in the correct dose to keep you stable without having to resort to adding RODI water to your dosing container.
     
  17. BOWHUNTER4250

    BOWHUNTER4250 Active Member

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    EXACTLY ! thats why im scratching my head to WHY ? what is happening to cause this ? 800ml a day averages out to 34ml an hour , i have a 180 display , a 75 fuge and a 220 sump didnt think it was that much considering i have over 300 gallons of water ?
     
  18. Jerett83

    Jerett83 Member

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    You should be adjusting your dosing times to match a full strength solution instead of adjusting your solution to your dosing time. When your adding a fresh mixed full strength solution to your diluted solution that's left in your dosing container its raising that diluted mix and throws off the ratio.
     
  19. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Expert Contributor

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    It is very unusual to bother to try to measure the potency of a dosing solution, especially one you made yourself so you know what is in it. :)
     
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  20. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Expert Contributor

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    Your dosing solution is not exactly my recipe. It is a bit weaker than my Recipe #1. You are adding about 3 dKH per day. hefty, but not necessarily excessive if you have good hard coral or coralline growth. :)
     
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